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Aust N Z J Public Health. 2004 Oct;28(5):458-64.

Folate promotion in Western Australia and the prevention of neural tube defects.

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  • 1Centre for Child Health Research, University of Western Australia Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Western Australia. carolb@ichr.uwa.edu.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We conducted a case-control study to investigate the effectiveness of efforts to increase folate intake in Western Australia (WA) for the prevention of neural tube defects (NTD).

METHODS:

Case (36) and control (578) mothers completed questionnaires, from which their intake of folate from supplements and food (including fortified foods) was estimated.

RESULTS:

Almost one-third of women took folic acid supplements periconceptionally. Supplement use was associated with a non-significant 4% reduction in risk. For women not taking supplements, dietary sources of folate were protective, and most women obtained at least some folate from fortified food.

CONCLUSIONS:

For the two-thirds of WA women not taking supplements, fortified food is an important source of folate for the prevention of NTD.

IMPLICATIONS:

Greater promotion of foods currently allowed to be fortified with folate, or mandatory fortification, is needed to maximise prevention of NTD in Australia.

PMID:
15707188
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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